Hemerocallis fulva (Day Lily)

Plant Info
Also known as: Orange Daylily
Family:Liliaceae (Lily)
Life cycle:perennial
  • Invasive - ERADICATE!
Habitat:part shade, sun; fields, along roads and streams
Bloom season:June - August
Plant height:2 to 5 feet
Wetland Indicator Status:GP: FACU MW: UPL NCNE: UPL
MN county distribution (click map to enlarge):Minnesota county distribution map
National distribution (click map to enlarge):National distribution map

Pick an image for a larger view. See the glossary for icon descriptions.

Detailed Information

Flower: Flower shape: 6-petals Cluster type: panicle

[photo of flowers] A panicle of 5 to 9 showy flowers, 3 to 4 inches across, made up of 3 petals and 3 petal-like sepals; the outer sepals are slightly narrower than the inner petals. All are orange with red streaks and turn to yellow at the throat. The petal edges are usually a bit crinkly or curled. 6 long stamens, curved near the tips, and a long straight style emerge from the center. Each flower lasts only 1 day, hence the name.

Leaves and stem: Leaf attachment: basal Leaf type: simple

[photo of leaves] Many sword-like leaves, 1 to 3 feet long and to 1¼ inches wide, surround the base of the plant, usually flopping over. The flowering stem is stout and naked except for a few widely spaced scale-like leaves. A plant may have multiple flowering stems.


Day Lily is one of those plants that was known to be invasive farther east but that was ignored. Left alone, it readily spreads and easily escapes garden settings. It can be found along roadsides in many more counties than the distribution map suggests, though it is more a problem plant in the Metro and southeast counties than farther north. As pest management goes, common dandelion spray can be quite effective if applied early in the season. Plants can then be dug up later in the season without too much difficulty, but all of the tubers must be removed or the plant will return the next year.

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More photos

Photos by K. Chayka taken at Long Lake Regional Park, New Brighton. Photos courtesy Peter M. Dziuk taken at Whitewater WMA, and in Hennepin County.


Have you seen this plant in Minnesota, or have any other comments about it?

Posted by: Debbie - St. Louis Park
on: 2010-08-27 21:29:38

Much to my chagrin, SLP allows residents to plant this invasive plant (that has taken over their own yards) along a road that runs along a marshy section of Minnehaha Creek where we have been removing buckthorn! :(

Posted by: Tina - Carlton County
on: 2011-03-01 10:05:15

I noticed a patch of day lily growing behind the Raiter Clinic parking lot in Cloquet, MN. I thought it was a leftover patch from an old garden; however, it appears to be growing all along the trails behind Cloquet hospital. My children and I noticed patches of it while we would take walks last year. Wild columbine and geraniums also appear to be growing.

Posted by: Russel - Lake County, Two Harbors
on: 2011-07-16 21:22:30

Spotted a single plant in the woods off of East Alger Grade.

Posted by: Victoria - Shakopee, Scott County, Minnesota
on: 2011-08-02 07:25:56

"Wild" day lilies growing in Prior Lake, Scott County near Spring Lake Regional Park / Howard Lake and Credit River Township, Scott County near CR 21 and 27.

Posted by: Jason - Mankato, Blue Earth County
on: 2013-07-28 22:29:55

Along roadways and ravines throughout the city.

Posted by: Tim - brainerd
on: 2014-07-12 18:06:12

Marsh areas and around lake

Posted by: Douglas - Marsh Lake Swift County
on: 2014-07-27 13:30:58

Found a small patch at the northeast public access on Marsh Lake in Lac qui Parle WMA. Five or six plants with one blooming. Never seen this plant here before even though I come here quite often.

Posted by: Nora - Longville, MN
on: 2014-08-01 10:02:05

I have never seen this plant before, but last week I took a walk along the edge of the woods and the meadow near my house and found just two of these flowers in bloom! Beautiful!

Posted by: Starr - Minneapolis
on: 2015-04-19 11:47:02

I had no idea these were a bad plant! My grandmother planted a patch in the yard and I still have them. They bloom each year in the same spot and have never moved past it. It there a look alike that's non-invasive?

Posted by: Andrea - Pine County
on: 2015-04-27 21:59:02

These lilies drive me bonkers! I managed to dig many of them up around our house there but it was a lot of digging because their tubers just never end! We had a lot to dig out to finally feel like we got them all.. but it was very rewarding when we didn't see them come up again. We threw all the plant parts and every last tuber in a fire. Even leaving one or two sets of tubers in the ground will have these things return! Now I am trying to eradicate them in my new yard here in Pine City. The only way to truly rid them from your yard seems to be to dig them up completely.. but keep digging to ensure you get every last tuber. They seem to multiply like rats. I would love to know an easier way without dangerous chemicals-we have pets. Do not simply throw the tubers in another spot.. put them in the trash or burn them!!

Posted by: Ella Mae - Mankato
on: 2016-07-06 22:08:21

If you look around older neighborhoods in Mankato ( houses built late 1800-early 1900's) you will notice many houses have these. I've tried researching when and why they were so popular. 1920's? What it a fad? Father in law remembers having them in his yard when he was a kid in the 40's but they were already there so possibly much earlier?

Posted by: MaryL - Rosemount, Dakota County
on: 2018-06-26 13:45:00

I have had 3 huge clumps in my yard since I moved here. I have transplanted several times and have never noticed any others on my 4.5 acres. Do I have a different strain?

Posted by: Jennifer Lamb - St. Cloud
on: 2018-07-28 08:37:02

Found on the side of 289th Ave NW while heading east between the USFWS office and the beginning of the Mahnoman Trail in the Sherburne National Wildlife Refuge in Sherburne Co. Photo has been posted here: https://twitter.com/jenylamb/status/1023200593719046144

Posted by: becky west - new london
on: 2019-05-25 06:48:28

I have both single and double blossoms. They are tough, but definitely have attributes. I dug out several last year, piled them on top of carpet in the garden, forgot them, and they bloomed without dirt. They are much prettier edging gardens under pine trees than quack grass. 30 years of transplanting "extras" has given our yard visual edgings with no need for weekly trimming. They are called ditch lilies because many are thrown in ditches. Find a place to love this "weed."

Posted by: K. Chayka
on: 2019-05-25 08:10:25

Becky, there are an infinite number of alternatives to quackgrass that aren't invasive like orange daylilies are. Prettier ones, too.

Posted by: Anita J Hall - Bloomington
on: 2019-07-06 21:39:33

These were on our property when we moved here in 2001 however they were in a heavily wooded area and never did much. I moved some into an area that I stripped of Buckthorn, thinking that they'd help keep weeds down. Oops. They have now taken over that area of the yard which prompted me to do some research. Had no idea they were invasive. I am now working to get them out. Have painted the leaves with Ortho Weed-B-Gone, which seems to work, then will dig out the roots. I'm glad I found this site.

Posted by: Nancy Jo Austin - Hugo
on: 2020-07-25 01:29:13

Is it only the orange ones that are invasive? I have always removed the orange ones because they seemed to want to take over. The yellow ones and others don't seem so aggressive.

A woman on a Facebook neighborhood site was selling them as "tiger lilies". When I suggested that I grew up calling orange oriental type lilies such as Turks cap lilies tiger lilies she got so upset, made some comments about how her family was in the nursery business, and blocked me. I wasn't even telling her not to sell them. I just made a comment.

Posted by: K. Chayka
on: 2020-07-25 08:39:51

Nancy Jo, there is no standardization on common names. Orange day lily is by far the most aggressive in Minnesota but tiger lily, Lilium lancifolium, also escapes cultivation.

Posted by: Paul Henjum - Apple Valley
on: 2022-10-17 19:48:30

It should be noted that this plant does not produce seeds and every plant found has been spread by people giving away plants or from the relocation soil containing the tuberose roots. Left alone it will form a dense spreading monoculture.

Posted by: Katie - St Louis Park
on: 2023-05-09 22:15:31

When I dig these up should I throw them in the trash or in the yard waste?

Posted by: K Chayka
on: 2023-05-10 05:29:38

Katie, it's yard waste. If your county has a compost site that accepts yard waste you could take it there.

Posted by: Nancy Jo and Tom Austin - May Twp
on: 2023-08-16 11:58:43

I planted yellow day lilies about 1995 where we buried our dog. There must have been a piece of an orange tuber in one of the pots. I now have a huge orange patch with a few yellow ones clinging to one side. I had my son help me dig them a few weeks ago but the soil was too dry. I'll try again after a heavy rain. In the mean time, my husband held a piece of plywood between the 2 patches and as much as I hate the stuff, I sprayed Roundup on the orange ones. (I also hit some crown vetch next to the driveway before I ran out.)

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